Looking for a memorable concert to check out this week after the sun goes down? Consider any of the following half-dozen options on our list of the best shows taking place over this weekend. As always, if you're looking for even more live music happening in and around the Valley, be sure to hit up our comprehensive Phoenix concert calendar for more options.
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo – Friday, June 10 – Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
From a quick glance at Pat Benatar's and Neil "Spyder" Giraldo's social media, it is clear that the two, who started working together in 1979, have as strong a following as ever. They're celebrating this fact with an extensive 35th-anniversary tour, accompanied by a PBS special and 14-track CD/DVD live album. For those of you going "Huh?": Pat Benatar was the first female voice on MTV, back when the "M" stood for music. Her powerhouse vocals and singular style, combined with Giraldo’s stellar musicianship, made Benatar a timeless icon. The hits-filled live album proves Benatar and Giraldo defy time, featuring enduring classics such as "Shadows of the Night," "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," and "Love Is a Battlefield," all of which are continually revitalized with remixes and covers. LILY MOAYERI
Gorgatron – Friday, June 10 - Club Red
If you’re a fan of death metal, this is the show you should hit up this month. "Death metal from Fargo, North Dakota, puttin' emo kids in log chippers since '06” — this is how the death metal/grindcore band Gorgatron describes themselves. Add Unholy Monarch, Through the Earth, Avarice, Oppressor God, and Dead Swarm to the mix, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a night of music. Added bonus? The bar is offering $8 Blue Balls (a shot of fireball and a PBR tall boy). LAUREN WISE
I Love the '90s Tour – Friday, June 10 – Talking Stick Resort Arena
Did you realize that Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" came out the same year as Salt-n-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex"? The two songs have aged remarkably differently. "Ice Ice Baby" exploded onto the mainstream, shooting up to the top of the charts and becoming the first hip-hop single to ever hit number one. "Let's Talk About Sex" provided an extremely positive, socially conscious message about safe sex, and though it didn't become a hit remotely on a scale of "Ice Ice Baby," by practically any measure not connected to sales, "Let's Talk About Sex" is a better song. Almost instantly after topping the charts, Vanilla Ice's overwhelming cheesiness and lack of respect for the origins of his chosen genre (not to mention a plagiarism lawsuit) morphed him into a punchline. To this day, Vanilla Ice is irrelevant as any number of one-hit wonders from the era. Salt-n-Pepa's underlying social message remains as vital today as it was in 1990, and "Let's Talk About Sex" remains a cherished part of the legacy of this underappreciated, groundbreaking group. The two artists are coming to Phoenix as part of a massive nostalgia tour called I Love The '90s, which will also feature Coolio, Kid 'n Play, Tone Loc, and Young MC. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Del the Funky Homo Sapien – Saturday, June 11 – Pub Rock
Del the Funky Homo Sapien emerged from the California in the '90s like the alien at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Sure, perhaps claims of extraterrestrial lineage are most associated with Lil Wayne, but Del's persona actually warrants the boast. Here's what Mr. Lif told Pop Matters, while laughing, about collaborating with Del: "Del is from another planet. I believe the brother sees and hears frequencies that the average man just doesn't. So any time I'm trying to get up with Del, it's kind of a cosmic experience."
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In reality, Del's story is a little closer to Earth. He's the cousin of Ice Cube, who helped put out Del's first album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, in 1991. Del spent some of the '90s in contract and career limbo, but when he emerged as part of the now-legendary Oakland hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics, he was as strong as ever. The year 2000 saw Del at perhaps his creative zenith. He released his classic solo album, Both Sides of the Brain, and also Deltron 3030, a concept album produced by Dan the Automator about a dystopian civilization in the future. Del might have slipped from mainstream consideration, but his rhymes and beats are still out of this world. Take this line from his most recent solo album: "Fools with the hokey-pokey rhymes in their songs? I ain't hating but my matrix be a step beyond." How can we argue? DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Curren$y — Saturday, June 11 — Club Red
Curren$y has spent his career, which spans well over a decade, in the company of hip-hop’s major players like Master P, Lil Wayne, and Wiz Khalifa, each of whom took the rapper under his wing at different times. Because of that, the New Orleans native has been signed to and sought after by numerous major labels, but surprisingly Curren$y’s never achieved much mainstream success. Instead, he’s cemented a longstanding status as an underground legend, selling out massive shows across the country and moving loads of mixtapes and albums via his own Jet Life record imprint, all the while appealing to the smoker’s club. This show at the large Gas Monkey Live indicates he’s approaching 2016 with the same boldness he’s shown since his No Limit Records days. MIKEL GALICIA
Los Lonely Boys – Sunday, June 12 – Chandler Center for the Arts
Many fans thought Los Lonely Boys were a lucky band right out of the gate, and they were right. Henry, JoJo, and Ringo, the Garza brothers from San Angelo, grew up playing music with their father and had a massive hit their first time out of the gate with "Heaven," a soulful ballad crystallizing their "Texican rock and roll" sound that cracked the Billboard Top 20 in 2004. It charted even higher in more specialized formats.
Although the Garzas never quite reached such lofty chart heights on their subsequent releases, their power-trio structure recalled past greats like Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and of course Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, so they quickly won a loyal following among guitar geeks with a taste for Texas blues, a sizable fan base they retain to this day (especially in the Southwest). At the same time, playing up their Latin roots placed them as natural heirs to the Santana/Los Lobos tradition, a style that truly blossomed on 2011 album Rockpango! CHRIS GRAY